Judge sets trial date in murder case against Gustavo Olivo-Tellez

Gustavo Olivo-Tellez

A trial date has been set for Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, the man accused of murdering his estranged wife, Blanca Salas-Jurado, in October of 2016 at an apartment south of Glenwood Springs.

At the request of the defense attorney, the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health assessed Olivo-Tellez after he entered an insanity plea in April, just weeks before he was set to go to trial. He had originally pleaded not guilty in June 2017.

Following the psychiatric evaluation by the state, Olivo-Tellez was deemed “competently and legally sane to stand trial.”

Investigators have said the victim was shot three to five times in her Glenwood-area apartment. The prosecution also has stated that their 3-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Jeff Cheney and Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham have maintained that the alleged murder was a dual crime committed by Olivo-Tellez and his then-girlfriend Michelle Castillo.

Castillo has since pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for an accessory to murder charge.

At a District Court hearing in Glenwood Springs Thursday afternoon, Olivo-Tellez’s attorney, Garth McCarty, phoned into the Garfield County Courtroom as he has since relocated, but is still handling the defense.

After finding dates that worked for the prosecution, defense and 9th District Judge John Neiley, the trial was set for Feb. 4 through March 1, 2019.

Prosecutors have maintained that, after the Oct. 7, 2016, shooting, Olivo-Tellez ditched the gun and ammunition in the Roaring Fork River and fled with Castillo.

Court documents indicate Castillo drove the child to Grand Junction and dropped him off with a relative, before connecting with Olivo-Tellez. They were both arrested at a hotel in Grand Junction the day after the murder. Police say they were allegedly planning to flee to California.

A pre-trial status conference is to take place Oct. 11, followed by a trial readiness conference on Jan. 22, 2019.

Olivo-Tellez, age 29, remains in the Garfield County Jail on a $2 million bond.

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